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How to Meet Goals with Right-Brained Employees

An organization cannot succeed without goals. A leader cannot succeed without setting the right goals, in the right way, for her followers. Believe it or not, there’s an art to setting and meeting goals. Not every staff will respond to the most typical approach. Even so, a great manager can adjust his approach and know how to set goals that all employees can support.

Remember, the brain likes goals because goals help it to focus. When goals are set, neurotransmitters such as dopamine are released in the brain. A motivated brain will be rewarded along the way to the achievement by the release of these chemicals. Without that achievement and the resulting chemicals, the brain — and the employee — feels bad. The brain therefore makes every effort to reach its goals. No wonder it’s so important to include all sorts of brains in your goal-setting.

If your teams consist of members who are creative, visual, and right-hemisphere dominant, approaching goals in a nonlinear manner may be more effective. SAFE goals approach goals a bit differently. SAFE is an acronym for the following:

  • See it. See yourself working toward that goal. For example, picture yourself increasing sales. Perhaps you visualize yourself approaching old customers and sharing valuable information about the product you sell. You then picture yourself calling on new prospects and pitching the product to them. Picture the goal already achieved.

  • Accept it. Picture yourself working toward the goal and accept that you can achieve it. Accept the recognition you might get and the rewards your company will receive from the sales.

  • Feel it. Adding emotion to your visualization is powerful. Feel good about your accomplishment. Enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. Through visualization, you can actually cause your brain to release dopamine and other brain chemicals that make you feel good.

  • Express it. Visualize yourself telling others about the accomplishment and giving presentations at your team meetings about how you contributed to the accomplishment of this goal.

The SAFE method is especially good for those brains that need to have the big picture in order to accept the fact that they can accomplish their goals. You may not need to use SAFE for every goal of the organization or team, but it may help those who doubt their capability of attaining certain goals.

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